As a nation, we are living in the age of coronavirus, and all that entails. Over the last few months, the residents of this nation has lived in lockdown when it came to eating out at restaurants and bars. Although in the last weeks, some of those restrictions have lifted in some states, they are now once again back into place due to reports of COVID-19 numbers beginning to rise once more.
With so much about coronavirus still a mystery, many questions remain about what is and possibly not safe, in the ongoing effort at continuing to flatten the curve. Amongst those areas of unknown are that of fast food takeout and grocery delivery.
There are several ways to both stay safe in the spread of COVID-19 and still order takeout and grocery delivery. We suggest you try these top six tips and put them into practice today.
Be Nice And Tip
It is important to remember that by the jobs very nature, delivery drivers do not have the option to work from home, like many in America are doing at this time. And, in most cases, they rely on their tips to make up for the income that they have lost due to the shutdowns. It is crucial to remember that although there are delivery services out there that pay an hourly wage, they are few and far between. Most delivery services, or even apps, only provide a small base payment to their drivers.
The contact-free delivery is one option that was introduced early on during the pandemic and continues to be the preferred option of choice. With contact-free delivery, the driver will leave your order at a pre-determined place or location, after which you will arrive after the driver leaves to pick it up. The procedure goes a long way to minimizing any contact between drivers and customers. The option reduces the risk of transmission of the coronavirus, while at the same time keeping both you and the driver as safe as possible. If you find that this option is not available with the app or website that you choose to use, you could always contact the driver and see if they are willing to accommodate.
Even before the recent pandemic, when ordering grocery delivery or takeout delivery, there was usually an option to include instructions for delivery of your order. This option was previously mainly used as a means to provide driving directions, access codes in gated communities, or any other information that would make the delivery go more smoothly. Now, this same option is used to ensure your food is delivered as safely as possible. Opting for contact-free delivery can involve explicit instructions for your delivery driver regarding where to leave your food. If you have the option to contact your delivery driver directly, the sending of photos as to where to leave the order can go a long way to preventing any type of confusion.
In addition to the tips already presented above, it is also vital that you know how to prepare, store, as well as safely handle the food. Any groceries that need to be frozen and refrigerated must be done so as soon as possible after being received. This timely storage can go a long way to the length of the food shelf-life as well as the prevention of harmful bacteria setting in and growing. Also, all raw fruits and vegetables must be properly rinsed and cleaner prior to their consumption. Keeping raw meats, seafood, poultry, and even eggs separate from other foods will help in the prevention of cross-contamination. Finally, any takeout items that are leftovers, in order to ensure safety for future consumption, should be refrigerated within two hours after receiving.
Although the FDA still assures that “there is no evidence of food or food packaging associated with the transmission of COVID-19,” it is still highly suggested that you make an effort to avoid touching your face after receiving delivery. You are also further advised to wash your hands with soap and water for no less than 20 seconds. It should also be noted here the FDA does state that there is a possibility of contracting the virus after having touched a surface that contains the virus and then touching one’s nose, mouth, or eyes.
Because most viruses are known to possibly live on packages for several days at a time, it is suggested that when items arrive in your home that you remove the packaging. This will help aid in any possible contamination or spread of the virus. For takeout, you need to transfer the food from the trays it is delivered into your own plates and bowls. When deciding which utensils to use, it is best to use your own in your home, rather than the standard plastics utensils that usually come with the meal. Once you have disposed of your packaging and food containers, you will need to wash your hands thoroughly before proceeding to eat.
A Few Final Observations
- Practicing the above tips will help in keeping you that much safer from coronavirus.
- When possible, opt-in to the contact-free delivery feature.
- Once you receive your delivery, do not touch your hands or face until you have thoroughly washed your hands,
- To prevent any contamination that can result in transmission fo the of the virus, remove all packaging and use your own plates, bowls, and utensils,
- Make sure to handle, prepare, and store foods in a safe manner so as not to cross-contaminate or allow bacteria to set in.
The “new normal” and the age of coronavirus means that we will have to readjust our lives and the manners in which we live. One of those areas of adjustment is that of eating out and grocery shopping. Although the change is a necessary one, if one is persistent, they can make the transition a smooth one.